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1999 TGF Bible Conference

Pauline Apologetics: The Defense of the One Faith

Session V
Pauline Apologetics and Atheism
Phillip W. Dennis

§0. Abstract: This session will examine the results which ultimately follow a rejection of God's revelation and, particularly, Paul's gospel in this age. The final stage of this rejection is atheism - the belief in man's total autonomy and independence from God. This session will also discuss why "classical" apologetics (evidentialism) fails to challenge the unbeliever in his fundamental presuppositions. A typical evidentialist approach to debating atheists will be critically examined to expose its weaknesses. We will outline how a correct presuppositional approach, on the other hand, reduces the "wisdom" of the unbeliever to foolishness.

I. Outline

  1. Review of Apologetic approach

  2. Common Ground with unbelievers

    1. Not a neutral epistemological ground
    2. Nature of the unregenerate
    3. There is a metaphysical common ground

  3. Atheist's world view

  4. Evidentialist method

  5. Presuppositional method

  6. Atheist attacks

    1. "Religion" not scientific
    2. "Problem" of Evil: Idea of God not compatible with presence of "evil" in universe.
    3. "Order from Chaos" (Opposed to creation by God)

II. Review. [Back to outline]

  1. Prov. 26:4,5 Answer not a fool according to his folly, Lest thou also be like unto him. Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own conceit.

  2. Myth of Neutrality.

    1. Neutrality is impossible. No one as a matter of fact is neutral, that includes Biblical Christianity. It is okay to be biased. There is only one correct bias!
    2. To be intellectually fair, the antitheist is bound to establish the (possibility of) his avowed neutrality before he builds upon it.
    3. What counts as "reasons" for justifying truth claims are already implicit in a person's world view. Reasons, methodology and facts are not independent self-authenticating impersonal universal abstract principles.
    4. Illustration #1. "Truth Verifying Machine" To see the interdependency of methodology consider the following. Suppose we want to construct a machine that sorts apples and oranges. After all, no one wants to mix apples and oranges. So we construct the machine, which takes arbitrary apples and oranges and sorts them into two baskets. One labeled "apples" and the other labeled "oranges." Next we test the machine. We plunk in an apple, turn the crank, and voila, it plops into the apple basket. So far so good, now toss in an orange, turn the crank, and again, it falls into the orange basket. Well now we have a verified apple-orange sorter. We just go about collecting fruit throwing it in the sorter and life is then just a bowl of cherries (whoops, mixed metaphor ­ life is a heap of sorted apples and oranges). There's something wrong here though, if you don't already see it, see if you can detect it the following analogy.

      Lets do the same thing with statements. We want to be able to distinguish true and false statements. So what we want to construct is a "logic" or truth testing machine, just like our apple-orange sorter. We put statements into it, some true and some false, and turn the crank We want to construct the machine so that true statements fall into the true basket and false statements fall into the false basket. So we construct it and test it. For example, we put the statement "1 + 1 = 2" into the machine and it falls into the true basket. We then put in "1 + 1 = 0" into the machine and it falls into the false basket. Great, we have tested our machine, now we can just apply it to any statement.

      Now what is wrong with this ­ aside from the fact that we have only given a finite test set ­ is the more fundamental problem, that in order to test the orange-apple sorter we need to know the difference between an apple and an orange to begin with. You see if we didn't how did we know that the machine worked when we tested it? The same goes for the truth testing machine, we can't construct such a machine and test it unless we are already in contact with the truth. This thus shows the total interdependence of the entire world-view. Logic/reasoning (unity aspect) and individual facts (plurality aspect) cannot be viewed as completely independent "things".

      This analogy also illustrates the problems of taking deduction or induction as prior to the other or taking deduction as exclusive (rationalism) or induction as exclusive (empiricism).
    5. Illustration #2. Invitation to conduct the debate in "no man's" land. The atheist presents himself as an innocent unbiased truth seeker. He invites us to abandon our stronghold of theism (presuppositions) and he too will abandon his stronghold of atheism (his presuppositions) to join us in unbiased open minded enquiry using the laws of logic. Just let the facts speak for themselves. What is wrong with this is that logic is not an autonomous principle that resides in neutral ground outside the theistic world view. The evidentialist gives in to this atheist invitation and has lost the debate from the out set. This brings us to...

  3. Challenge the presuppositions of contrary positions at their "root"

    1. "Argumentum ad hominem" ­ not to be confused with the "ad hominem fallacy"

      1. The ad hominem fallacy is the claim that someone's position is false based on the person himself. Example: "He can't be right because he is a Catholic."
      2. The true argumentum ad hominem shows that the opponent's world-view is incoherent. Prov. 26:5: "Answer a fool according to his folly..." Assume the ground of the "fool" to show that his position reduces all of reality to absurdity, that on his presuppositions nothing is provable or true. Biblical support: James 1:8; Matt. 12:25

III. Common Ground

    A. Not a neutral epistemological ground [Back to outline]

    1. Nature of the unregenerate

      1. Noetic effects of sin: 1 Cor. 2:14; Rom. 8:7,8.
      2. This noetic effect of sin is an ethical alienation from God. Spiritually dead does not mean mentally dead. As a result of the fall man did not become an irrational beast. Even the unregenerate have the capacity to understand what the Biblical text is saying, however, he does not like what it says. He would rather remain, with every fiber of his being, in rebellion against God. So....
        [Back to outline]

    2. There is a metaphysical common ground. Even the unbeliever is the imago Dei, he is not an irrational beast. Further, Scripture tells us that all men do know that God is but that the unbeliever holds down the truth in unrighteousness, Rom. 1:18-22.;the atheist is a fool Psalm 53:1, yet, as long as the unbeliever accedes to rational discourse, he is acting according to imago Dei. It is in this sense that the unbelievers word view is "financed" on the borrowed capital of Christianity. Nevertheless, there is the noetic effect of sin. The unbeliever will not accept the things of God unless regenerated by the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14). Of course, we are still responsible to present intelligible and cogent arguments against the unbeliever's world view.
      [Back to outline]

      1. Thus, we must show that the position (Christian theism centered about Pauline dispensationalism) we are presenting is intelligible, and
      2. Show why he should forsake his position (it is foolish) and accept what we are presenting.
      3. Further, we are not defending a generic deity versus atheistic materialism. Nor are we defending some generic Christianity, nor just a generic Christian theism (Calvinism), but Biblical Christian theism centered on revelations of The Mystery. Romans 1:16, Eph 3:9, Rom 16:25.
      4. Opportunity to bring Pauline distinctives to debate against atheists may be limited, but should be stated as opportunity allows.

IV. Survey of Atheist world view [Back to outline]

  1. Atheist metaphysics is materialism. All that exists is matter in motion ruled over by laws and chance. Matter + Laws + Chance + Time gives rise to individuals. The materialist's religion worships the gods of Chronos (time), Tyche (chance) and Anagke (necessity). Time (Chronos) yields the plurality of the universe spawned by Chance (Tyche) operating via necessity (Anagke). Modern phrase is "evolution."

  2. Extreme Reductionism:

    1. Everything else is derivable from laws of matter in motion (pure material monism).
    2. In particular, "mind" is just a phenomenon of matter.

  3. As noted above, they typically embrace dualism in regard to principles of "nature." Determinism (laws) and indeterminism (chance).

  4. Note the atheist embraces many equally ultimate principles, that are somehow unified as a one ­ without an intelligible explanation.

    1. Some things happen for a reason, they are rational. Other phrases used to describe this are: causality, determined, closed universe (there are no alternatives, if A occurs then B invariably follows)
    2. Other things happen for no ultimate reason, they are irrational. Other phrases used to describe this are: chance, acausal, undetermined, open universe (there are alternatives, if A occurs, B1 may occur or B2 may occur etc. with varying probabilities.)
    3. Examples of irrational events, as espoused by "rational" atheist.

      1. Universe springs into being uncaused as a "Quantum" fluctuation out of nothing.
      2. Life springs out matter in motion uncaused except by "chance"
      3. In fact, in the atheist world view, every individual springs from mere impersonal chance. Deterministic laws can not make the modern man free, man himself is the product of impersonal chance.

    4. Epistemologically rational. "Scientific method" arrives at truth via deduction (logic) and induction (empiricism).

  5. Note that the atheist will "pick and choose" his point of authority as is convenient to his argument. He plays a "shell game." The "scientifically-minded" atheist (a la' Dawkins, Sagan, etc.) puts forth a facade of rationality to the "man in the street." Yet at rock-bottom his world view is built on the irrational. Might wonder: Does the atheist rationally decide to appeal to the irrational? Does he irrationally decide to be rational?


  6. Figure 1. Materialist Presuppositions: Neutral Methodology?

  7. Figure 2. Materialist Presuppositions are a Castle Built in the Clouds

  8. The atheist's "dualism" of Rationalism/Irrationalism is summarized in the following chart. The atheist is both a flaming rationalist and a flaming irrationalist. James 1:8

V. Critique of Evidentialist Method [Back to outline]

  1. Evidentialist gives in to "myth of neutrality." Cf. Greg L. Bahnsen, Van Til's Apologetic Readings and Analysis, p. 146.


    1. "... the epistemological disagreements between believers and unbelievers [can] not be resolved in a neutral fashion, as though the issue of God's existence and character ... [can] be treated as secondary ­ and thus temporarily set aside without any commitment one way or another ­ while abstract philosophical issues [are] debated and settled. It is often, but vainly, imagined that once we come to agreement on our epistemology, we can apply those epistemological standards to the questions of whether God exists, whether miracles occur, whether the Bible is true, etc. By contrast, Van Til taught that abstract epistemological neutrality is an illusion and that, given the kind of God revealed in the bible, imagined neutrality is actually prejudicial against God.

      "If God exists and is as the Christian world view claims, then His existence has an undeniable bearing on how we understand the process of knowing, the standards of truth and evidence, ultimate authority, and other crucial matters in epistemology."

      "There is no pristine, religiously neutral, abstract 'reason' to which all men first swear their allegiance, only then to turn to such secondary matters as man's nature, moral character, relation to God, destiny, etc. The kind of man who is doing the reasoning already determines something about the way in which he thinks about reason and engages in reasoning. Thus Van Til stated, 'It is impossible to speak of the intellect per se, without taking into consideration whether it is the intellect of a regenerated person or of a non-regenerated person.'

      "Van Til simply called for honesty and realism here. The metaphysical situation and object of knowledge (e.g., God's existence, the relation of created things to Him), as well as the psychological/moral situation and the subject of knowledge (i.e., man as a knower, someone using reasoning ability), cannot be ignored as we develop our views of knowing. 'Reason' is simply an intellectual tool, rather than an ultimate standard of knowledge (more authoritative even than God), and as such will be affected by the regenerate or unregenerate condition of the man using it. A person's epistemological behavior and commitments are ethical in character. According to Van Til, one's theory of knowledge is not neutral, but subject to moral assessment in terms of the ultimate authority to which one submits and which one attempts to honor."

  2. B. The fruit of evidentialism:

    1. God only "probably" exists. Typical wording: "Evidence for" and "Evidence against" but evidence for out weighs evidence against!!!!
    2. A telling quote from Geisler where he criticizes the "weakness" of presuppositionalism (that it requires defense of the total Christian world view), Baker Encyclopedia of Christian Apologetics (1999), "But it is not necessary to presuppose that the God is triune, has a son incarnated as Jesus of Nazareth and has revealed himself in the sixty-six inspired books of the Christian Scriptures. One can make sense of the world by assuming less than the whole truth of Christianity." (P.156)

      1. Geisler has missed the whole point! We argue presuppositionally by arguing in a holistic (hate to use that term) manner. Only Christianity makes sense of everything. Reality is not ammenable to just any subset of the truth, or to fanciful myth making.
      2. But the real shocker, is that Geisler has just admitted that the world is neutral with respect to person of Christ! Thus you have to "add" Christ as an extra, and the only way to do this is via a "self-evidencing neutral" historiography
      3. Thus, we again see that according to evidentialism, man's knowledge of the truth of Biblical Christianity rests only on a probability argument, which rests on an abstract inductive principle, that is based on an a priori standard of historical investigation. Are these "self-evidencing" principles any more certain than the conclusions they obtain? No! Compounding the leaky buckets does not lead to a leak proof bucket.

  3. Typical debate format:

    1. Use cosmological argument
    2. Use Ethical argument
    3. Argue evidentially for the resurrection of Christ.
    4. Use personal testimony ­ try it you'll like it. Subjectivism. I hope you appreciate that when it comes down to this, you're really desperate. This is the "burning in the bosom" approach to "truth."

  4. Uses classical arguments. Cosmological and teleological. Ill formulated. Based on assumption of unbeliever's autonomy. Presupposed neutrality.

    1. Cosmological argument. (See Greg L. Bahnsen, Van Til's Apologetic Readings and Analysis, pp.617-9 ).

      1. Statement of Argument. Everything has a cause. If everything has a cause then it should be admitted that this world therefore has a cause. This cause is God.
      2. This argument as presented by the evidentialist assumes that both this world and causality makes sense a priori, outside the context of Biblical world view and then argues back to "god."
      3. First objection is the Sunday school girl's question. Well where did God come from? If the answer is God is uncaused, then the savvy atheist of course asks why can't the uncaused thing just be the universe itself. The argument as stated has no effect on the sophisticated college student.
      4. Fallacious points of cosmological argument

        (1) As mentioned, already has surrendered by granting that the world and causality makes sense outside of Biblical Christianity.

        (2) How are we to understand the premise everything has a cause?

        (a) Cannot be a universal "metaphysical principle," for it would apply to God too.

        (b) If it means the empirical fact that everything observed in the universe has a cause, as seen in everyday experience. Then,

        1. the argument rests on the insecure foundations of empiricism and induction (again assumed to make sense outside of the context of Christian theism ­ yet another surrender of evidentialism) for no one has seen everything. (Further, the savvy atheist will resort to the irrationalism of quantum mechanics to say not everything is caused!)
        2. so, everything just means everything within the universe of experience (i.e. immanent within the world), and has a cause means natural cause.
        3. These defeat the whole argument. Because when explicated the argument is really saying. Since everything within experience has a natural cause, the universe as a whole has a supernatural cause.
        4. Argues from properties of parts to properties of the whole. Known as fallacy of composition. Example, since every member of a family is male or female, the family must be male or female. Or since every member of a football team is superior to another team, that team must be superior (maybe all of these Heismann trophy candidates are mavericks and don't cooperate as a team, they all run a different play!)

    2. Teleological argument (Paley's watch, evidence of purpose of design in the creation).

      1. Evidentialist assumes design makes sense a priori, and then argues back to "god"
      2. Well some atheists just say there is no such thing as "design." Example, Richard Dawkins.
      3. As presuppositionalists we point out that the very idea of design already presupposes the God of creation.

    VI. Presuppositional Method [Back to outline]

      A. We present a challenge to the atheist's entire world view

        1. TAG: Transcendental Argument for God. Christianity centered on the dispensation of the Mystery is true because of the impossibility of the contrary. God most certainly exists, and the proof is absolutely certain.

        2. Atheist world-view leads to ultimate scepticism

        1. Can't account for:

          (1) rationality ­> scientific method, laws of logic
          (2) universal physical laws ­> induction
          (3) causality
          (4) consciousness
          (5) ethics

        2. On atheist world-view nothing is provable. His whole argument is just question begging.

        3. We challenge the unbeliever to give an intelligible account to the above plurality via his own espoused world view. We reduce his position to absurdity. We show that on his ground his world collapses into sound and fury signifying nothing. Answer the fool according to his folly.

        4. Atheist has an epistemological and ethical dilemma.

        1. He claims knowledge is possible, via a logico-empirical method, yet cannot account for how this is possible within his world view.
        2. He claims some form of morality, and does act ethically, and may even inconsistently claim that ethics is not just a matter of personal preference. But on his world view he cannot account for ethics. Ultimately, his morality is merely subjective, a matter of person preference or utilitarian and relative. He has no absolute morality ­ and cannot give an intelligible reason why anyone should be moral, or how morality can arise from random processes of evolution. The point is that matter in motion is not evil, it is just matter in motion.

        5. Epistemological authorities of the atheist are impersonal universal and eternal principles.

        1. "Scientific" method
        2. "Neutral" investigation: various shades of empiricism
        3. Deduction/logic: various shades of rationalism
        4. Induction
        5. Mathematics

        6. Internal critique.

        1. Atheist uses all of these principles and authorities; and he appeals to them but can give no intelligible argument for their existence.
        2. To paraphrase Greg Bahnsen: "Atheists can count but they can't account for counting."
        3. Atheist can't account for:

          (1) eternal universal immaterial laws (logic, etc.) or
          (2) consciousness
          (3) abstract concepts (mathematics) or
          (4) absolute objective ethics.

        4. Atheism can't account for its own "scientific method."

          (1) If empiricism is the theory of knowledge, then the view is self-defeating. The scientific method can't be analyzed in a rock, or seen in a test tube.

          (2) Atheism can't give an intelligible account of it metaphysics. How can universal laws (unity = the one) arise out sheer chance (a miasma of absolutely independent particulars = the many). This is the problem of the one and the many. The atheist has a plurality of equally ultimate, absolutely independent principles and things. There is an infinite unbridgeable gap between these principles/things. Absolutely independent particulars cannot give rise to a universals. Moreover, an absolute unity cannot produce particulars. Can one deduce any individual person from the laws of logic?

          (3) Atheist has no reason to believe that the "laws" of the universe tomorrow will be as they are today. The gravitational "constant" may spontaneously change causing all of the planets to fall into the sun. He has no reason to believe anything is constant. Why is every electron alike? Every proton, etc? The same "process" that gave rise to its birth can just as easily give rise to its demise. In fact since everything sprang from nothing by chance, perhaps tomorrow everything might spring back into nothing by chance.

          (4) The atheist cannot provide an intelligible foundation for his plurality of ultimates. Why expect laws of logic to remain the same? After all, logic is just a function of "meat computers" (brains) which were constructed by chance and will evolve into different functions in the future. So today's "logical" proof becomes tomorrow's irrationality! Aristotelian logic is just an "implementation" of the brain. The scientific method appears to "work." Why should it work tomorrow?

        5. To quote a leading atheist himself, Bertrand Russell, Problems of Philosophy, p.68,69: "The inductive principle, however, is equally incapable of being proved by an appeal to experience. Experience might conceivably confirm the inductive principle as regards the cases that have been already examined; but as regards unexamined cases, it is the inductive principle alone that can justify any inference from what has been examined to what has not been examined. All arguments which, on the basis of experience, argue as to the future or the unexperienced parts of the past or present, assume the inductive principle; hence we can never use experience to prove the inductive principle without begging the question. Thus we must either accept the inductive principle on the ground of its intrinsic evidence, or forgo all justification of our expectations about the future. ... All our conduct is based upon associations which have worked in the past, and which we therefore regard as likely to work in the future; and this likelihood is dependent for its validity upon the inductive principle. The general principles of science, such as the belief in the reign of law, and the belief that every event must have a cause, are as completely dependent upon the inductive principle as are the beliefs of daily life. All such general principles are believed because mankind have found innumerable instances of their truth and no instances of their falsehood. But this affords no evidence for their truth in the future, unless the inductive principle is assumed. Thus all knowledge which, on a basis of experience tells us something about what is not experienced, is based upon a belief which experience can neither confirm nor confute... ."
        6. Note: Russell admits the whole foundation is assumption, and to do otherwise is question begging. To paraphrase Bahnsen: "The trouble with atheists is that they live by faith."
        7. Atheist view of matter in motion and evolution is internally absurd. Irrationality of Evolution. Requires the atheist to believe that things can turn into their contradictions. For example:

          (1) lifeless matter turns into life
          (2) mindless matter turns into conscious thinking minds
          (3) amoral matter turns into moral humans
          (4) causal laws spring from acausal chance.

      VII. Disarming the Atheist's "attacks" [Back to outline]

      A. "Religion" not scientific.

      1. Presupposes that logico-empirical method is only method that gives assurance of truth. Presupposes there can be no non-empirical source of knowledge about reality. But this is just question begging. The atheist can provide no intelligible reason why "science" should work.
      2. Presuppositions of the atheist for "science." The "state of affairs" that must exist for science to be meaningful.
        1. Man resides in a universe conducive to scientific enterprise.
        2. World of things and processes which can be known.
        3. Relation of man to this world allows him to know these things (reliability of senses and mind).
        4. These processes are orderly and regular laws.

      3. Question: What reason can the atheist scientist give that the "state of affairs" is in fact conducive to science. Why is the world as it is and not otherwise? If at rock bottom all is haphazard chance, then whence do the orderliness and regularity arise?
      4. Don't argue as if "science" makes sense independent of Biblical Christianity.
      5. Challenge atheist to prove his logico-empirical method, as above.
        1. Prove existence of immaterial laws of logic
        2. Prove law of induction
        3. Atheist will protest "that's not fair."

      B. Problem of Evil [Back to outline]

      1. Atheist Syllogism:

        1. An all-good God would not want evil to exist.
        2. An all-powerful God would prevent evil.
        3. Evil exists.
        4. Therefore, God does not exist.
          (1) Either God is not all good (he would prevent it but doesn't)
          (2) or God is not all powerful (he wants to prevent evil but can't)
        5. CONCLUSION: The omnipotent omnibenevolent God of Christianity does not exist.
        6. Or Christian view is logically inconsistent.
          (1) God is powerful enough to prevent.
          (2) God is good enough not to want evil and yet evil exists. How can you believe in a god who ordains child molestation?

      2. Apologetic response.

        1. Both believer and unbeliever "agree" that there is evil. So, the question is "what is the reference point for what constitutes evil?"
        2. In a world ruled by laws of matter and chance (atheism), there simply is no such thing as evil. You see, the exact same laws of physics that result in billiard balls bouncing off of pool table cushions is the same physics and chance that gave rise to the Nazis and the holocaust. Just as there is no "oughtness" in billiard balls (was it morally reprehensible that the eight ball banked off of the rear cushion at 30 degrees and hit the "1" ball? You evil eight ball, you! There is no "oughtness" in one bag of molecules (the Commander of Auschwitz) "eliminating" other "bags of molecules." It is all just a bunch of physics, matter in motion, sound and fury signifying nothing.
        3. Of course, the holocaust IS reprehensible! But only so on the Christian world view.
        4. Let 's look at the atheist's syllogism a bit closer. It is fallacious for three reasons:
          (1) It uses logic which the atheist claims is absolute authority and for which he cannot account. (The atheists approach and methodology begs the question at the "meta level").
          (2) The atheist cannot intelligibly talk about evil in his world view. Note that he does act as if he knows the law of God (Romans 2:15). He has no absolute moral standard. This is the ethical dilemma of the atheist. Evil either does not exist or is a convention of the majority. When the atheist eliminates God, he also eliminates the evil.
          (3) Actually, one premise is manufactured, that being "An all-good God would not ordain evil." This is suspect. We claim as Christians that God has morally sufficient reasons within himself for having decreed evil. This is not a logical problem, but it may be an emotive problem, a psychological problem to some people. Ultimately, it is an autobiographical objection that means "I don't like that God."
        5. So, in conclusion: Omnipresent, omnipotent, omni-benevolent, omniscient God is not logically inconsistent. The "standard syllogism" is ill phrased.

      C. Order from chaos. [Back to outline]

      1. This is sometime proposed as overcoming the atheist's problem of small probabilities for life to arise by chance. The argument is based on the two ultimates of the atheist world view, rational laws plus irrational chance.
      2. First point is to challenge the atheist to give an intelligible description of what chance and probability are. (As theists we should never argue against evolution using probability arguments as if probability makes sense outside the Christian world view. Rather, we should show that evolution is internally self-contradictory, as above.)
      3. Second, the appeal to chaos theory is misinformed. Chaos theory is completely deterministic. Chaos theory presupposes an underlying non-linear deterministic equation (think law) which given the initial state of the system the time development of the state is completely determined (no chance is involved). The system only appears to be chaotic (this is just a qualitative term, the system looks chaotic locally over short times). The system is actually organized from the beginning. Ask the atheist were these self-organizing laws sprang from, and further were the individual initial conditions sprang from.

      VIII. Summary/Conclusion

      1. The atheist when he rejects the God of Scripture accepts a world view which is utterly foolish. The fool has said in his heart there is no God. Ps. 53:1.
      2. He says that evil in the world contradicts the existence of God, but he is left with a world in which nothing is evil.
      3. When he rejects God as Creator, he accepts an irrational world in which things can turn into their contradictions. Mind from mindlessness, morals from amoral matter; laws from lawlessness, uniformity from nonuniformity; predictability from non predictability, etc.
      4. He appeals by irrational faith to the power of chance. But chance does not exist. Chance is nothing. Time plus chance turn things into their contradictions.
      5. He says that miracles are impossible, there is no supernatural, that all is natural uniform processes, But he cannot account for the uniformity of nature. To the atheist the uniformity that he claims is just an accident, so for the atheist the fact that today is like yesterday is an irrational miracle. The fact that the laws are as they are today is one big fluke. Yet he practices his science on the presupposition of uniformity.